As the star-crossed 2013-14 season mercifully draws to a close, there’s one question on the mind of every black-and-gold fan. Are the Penguins legitimate Stanley Cup contenders?
It sure is hard to tell. Talk about a roller coaster. On March 30 the Pens hammered Chicago with a lethal combination of ferocity and skill. Two nights later they rol [...]
During each of the past three seasons the Pittsburgh Penguins rocketed through March and April, only to pull an el foldo in the playoffs. This year Dan Bylsma’s crew seems to be trying a totally different approach—play as poorly as possible in the stretch run and hope to heat up in the postseason.
With a 5-4-2 record since the Olympic break, [...]
What a difference a year makes. Eleven months ago Penguins fans were dancing in the streets following GM Ray Shero’s blockbuster deadline deals for Jarome Iginla, Jussi Jokinen, Brenden Morrow, and Douglas Murray.
And this season? Not so much.
Shero tried to add some glitter. He vigorously pursued Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler, only to be rebuffed. [...]
Through the first few months of the season Marc-Andre Fleury was a virtual brick wall in the Penguins’ net. Gone was the tentative, skittish goalie whose porous play last spring forced coach Dan Bylsma to turn the reins over to veteran Tomas Vokoun. In his place a new and improved No. 29 emerged—calm, cool, athletic as ever, and rock solid.
It’s safe to say the Penguins have endured more than their share of hardship this year. With key performers such as Paul Martin and Rob Scuderi dropping like flies, the black and gold ranked fourth in the NHL with 161 man-games lost to injury as of December 15—a staggering total at this stage of the season.
While it’s never a good thin [...]
It’s been several days since Boston swept our beloved Penguins from Stanley Cup competition. In my mind, here are seven factors that led to the defeat:
1. Sid’s Jaw—The fractured jaw Sidney Crosby sustained with a month to go in the regular season may have contributed more than any other factor to the Penguins’ undoing. The combination of the [...]
With the big win last night the Penguins have Ottawa on the brink of elimination and have afforded themselves the opportunity to get their #1 goalie back into the fold.
Many will argue that Tomas Vokoun is the hot hand and the Penguins should leave him in net. On the other side many will argue that Marc-André Fleury has experience under the [...]
There’s an old adage in sports—ride the horse that brung ya.’ (Or something like that.) Thank goodness Penguins coach Dan Bylsma paid it no mind as filled out his lineup card for Thursday’s critical Game 5 matchup with the pesky New York Islanders.
I’ve been critical of the Pens’ skipper in the past for what I felt were questionable personnel [...]
Before I begin, I must confess that it pained me to write this piece. The last thing I want to do is be hard on a player—in this case Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury—when he’s down. Not only is Fleury one of the longest tenured Penguins—his career dates back to 2003-04—but he’s been such a huge part of the team’s success. Plus, he seems lik [...]